Every Thing You Need to Know About Modern Hausa Kaftan

Arewa Kaftan

Written by Khadija Garba

A graduate of English Language, Khadija Garba grew up in a small town in Zaria. She is a writer whose random thoughts and beliefs get penned down. Not to mention she derives happiness and fulfillment going through her own published works. Khadija has an addiction for early morning cup of black coffee, Japanese 2D animations (anime), manhwas then finally, English novels. Romance remains her favourite genre.

September 2, 2020

Hausa Kaftan is a trendy tradition that can’t ever go out of season nor fashion once processed correctly. It is worn unbiased to completions and looks. The right Kaftan performs wonders even to the ones considered ugly. From Weddings to Eid seasons, interviews, visitations down to funerals, a good Kaftan never forgets to leave an impressive impression. Except in moments of exercising where one is expected to wear as light and loose clothes as available for comfiness, agility, and easy respiration.

Evolution of Arewa Kaftan

Hausa Kaftan threads back for as far as the history of Arewa itself. It is and has been the recognized attire of the Northerners for centuries. Over these years, however, it has undergone different modifications to bring it to what it is today. For instance, decades ago, it was a masterpiece that consisted of three pieces ( a trouser, a simple long shirt, and a big overlapping one known as Babbar Riga/malum-malum)

But of recent, it is widely a two-piece affair (a trouser and the kaftan: a long shirt). Though the Babbar Riga has not been deleted completely from the former set, its usage has now been restricted to occasions like wedding Fatiha and Eid prayers by the youths. Elderly people still use it even for visitations and other daily activities.

The three-piece usually has the shirt (Kaftan) designed simply with the Babbar Riga having a more elaborate and sophisticated embroidery. This embroidery is done either with hands or machines. It is however believed the handwork takes a longer time to accomplish and it comes out more eye-catching than the work done using a machine. The two-piece does not require elaborate work. Its embroidery is most times kept simply; from the collar area, down to the front button area and finally the breast pocket area with little design to the sleeves gives it a vibe of elegance. Buttons used to be used for the sleeves but over the last decade, cufflinks are a new choice, replacing the button for it is more fashionable plus one does not have to fear untimely removal each time it’s time for laundry.

Benefits of Wearing a Hausa Kaftan

Wearing Kaftan has it’s perks and benefits. The benefits of wearing Kaftan include;

1. Sense of Identity

Hausa Kaftan provides a sense of identity and belonging. Wherever around the world, the Kaftan accompanied by a babban Riga & hula represents the Northern culture of Nigeria. Also, People tend to familiarize themselves more with you for the first time when they can relate to your mode of dressing.

2. Feeling of Responsibility

Hausa kaftans give out an air of responsibility to men who wear it which in turn brings about respectability. The elder generation has this funny belief; a guy who wears the Kaftan is more responsible than the guy who wears jeans. Naturally, to look responsible is to be respected. Now, I am not saying you should scam these old people by pretending to be what you are not. It’s just that, if you’re ever looking forward to impressing, the Kaftan does a better job than any other mode of dressing in the northern part of Nigeria.

3. An Aura of Confidence

Men clad in natives have this tolerable sassiness oozing all over them. Can’t pinpoint how they do it but it leaves them feeling good about themselves while also knowing the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction is minimal.

4. Looking Handsome

Let’s talk about sexiness. Yes, being all hot and breathtaking. This specific gender seems to underestimate the power Kaftan holds in the face of the opposite gender. I personally never forget to “brother’s so Masha Allah” underneath my breath each time I pass by a standard Kaftan. So, if you’re slender and not rocking that Hausa Kaftan right, I hear to tell you you’re doing admirers a shame and a wrong. If you happen to be thick and still not patronizing those Kaftans, this is me telling you you’re doing your chubbiness a great disadvantage (chubby is cute by the way).

A good Kaftan remains the one where the completion and body structure of the wearer is put into consideration during designing. This is why you must familiarize yourself with shades that compliment you. Except if what you’re looking forward to is a neutral ground (white, ash, etc). To look classy, responsible, and irresistible same time, nail that Hausa Kaftan!

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